Chris Allard holding a guitar


Described by the legendary Pat Martino as “a real guitar player”, and by Jamie Cullum as "one of the great guitarists in this country", Chris cites Pat Metheny, Radiohead and Miles Davis among his influences, and while firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, his group encompasses elements of rock, World, classical, blues and folk. 

A former member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Chris has worked with a vast and varied number of artists - from Jacqui Dankworth, Gwyneth Herbert, Dame Cleo Laine, Sir John Dankworth, Carleen Anderson, Claire Martin and Jamie Cullum, to Madeline Bell, Il Divo, Lea Salonga, Gwilym Simcock, the BBC Big Band and Ken Peplowski. 

A musician whose playing is both lyrical and understated, Chris will be performing material from his soon-to-be released follow-up to Invisible Landscape, plus compositions from his previous albums - all of which garnered a plethora of plaudits in Jazzwise, Musician and Guitarist - and Charlie will making his contribution too!

An accomplished and prolific singer/songwriter, Chris’ special guest, Charlie Wood, has received stellar reviews for his original releases, including Southbound, Who I Am, and Flutter and Wow, New Souvenirs.

Charlie's latest offering, Tomorrow Night, has also garnered superb reviews, such as this from R2 magazine: "It’s here that jazz intimately copulates with Blues, New Orleans-easy with Memphis kick, well-honeyed horns and spiralling trumpet. This is smoky, sighing, late-night soul from Beale Street to East McLemore Avenue, a members-only party for the sad and lonely."  

A musician whose eclectic musical style incorporates elements of jazz, blues, soul, traditional R&B and popular music, Charlie embodies a hepcat worldliness and bar room empathy, with the style and wisdom that gives it heftiness, while his lean, unblemished voice has the high, lonesome timbre of a dedicated bluesman.

A singer who’s as soulful as his songwriting is smart and a wicked piano player, Charlie's composition, Promised Land, won the Jazz category in the 2015 US Songwriters’ Competition.

Chris Allard (Guitar), Charlie Wood (Piano/Vocals), Dave Whitford (Double Bass), Nick Smalley (Drums).   "Allard dodges any jazz-bluesy rock clichés on his electric solo with a bold, rounded sound and patiently-shaped sense of melodic direction." - Jazzwise

"Rocking with bluesy angular lines . . . somewhere between Scofield and Carlton, with a dash of fleet-footing Martino . . .  bebop is far from being Allard’s only brush." - Guitarist on Invisible Landscape.

“Pour yourself a whiskey, pull the shades, turn off the lights and bathe in this beauty. Soul, Blues, Charlie is a charmer. - Rock Remedy

“. . . a lean, unblemished voice which has the high, lonesome timbre of a dedicated bluesman.”  - New Statesman

“. . . has the artistry and class material to shrink any venue to an intimate club in vibe and warmth.” - Just Listen to This

Tickets £15 / £13 Concessions. Students £6
Jazz Express Offer: Book for any three gigs and get tickets for just £10 each!
Doors open 7.00pm, starts 7.30pm.

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  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets
  • Facilities for hearing impaired

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)
  • Credit cards accepted (with charge)


  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children welcome


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Facilities for conferencing
  • Facilities for corporate hospitality
  • Venue approved for civil marriage
  • Wedding receptions


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions


Chris Allard Quartet + Special Guest Charlie Wood

Type:Music - Jazz

Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1NF

Tel: 01206 500900

Fax: 01206 500187

Opening Times

Season (26 Sept 2021)